Despite missing a second deadline for the Kohl's site to be "pad-ready" for a foundation to begin building the store, city officials involved with the $10 million project maintained Wednesday the taxpayers won't be penalized by fines imposed by the Wisconsin-based department store chain.
"They have not indicated and we don't anticipate they will penalize us," said John Grado, city director of community and economic development, following discussions he and Mayor Gabriel J. Campana had with Kohl's. The telephone conferences occur twice weekly, according to Campana.
When asked why the contractors missed the deadlines, Grado acknowledged they are working hard daily but face rain, mud and additional excavation requires as to what they encountered.
According to a site-development agreement between the city and Kohl's, it is not the intention of the store management to penalize the city, Grado said.
Contractors are preparing half of the pad following engineering certification, Grado said.
"We're working with contractors to ensure they meet a construction schedule for an anticipated fall opening," he said. He said those efforts have been accelerated to stay on schedule.
Campana said the walls of the store could be erected before the month's end.
Signs indicating what the site will be also are arriving soon, he said.
Another milestone to be reached next week is the start of the repaving and reconstruction of William Street but that won't impact many motorists.
It won't impact the Via Bella exchange or round-abouts, Grado said.
Some parking lot work by HRI Inc. begins at the Highmark Blue Shield lots. Workers are being told they will enter and exit using the driveway off Church Street and the entrance and exit to William will be closed, he said.
Repeated attempts by the Sun-Gazette to speak directly with Kohl's management have not been successful.